ARTICLE

Cedar Rapids police chat online about red light cameras

Cedar Rapids police Capt. Steve O'Konek participates in a live online chat about red light cameras at KCRG on Thursday,
Cedar Rapids police Capt. Steve O'Konek participates in a live online chat about red light cameras at KCRG on Thursday, March 4.

Cedar Rapids police Capt. Steve O'Konek and Sgt. Cristy Hamblin participated in an online chat about red light cameras today on GazetteOnline.com and KCRG.com.

The highlights:

* A red light violation is committed when the vehicle's front bumper enters a crosswalk or passes the stop line after the light turns to red. Weather permitting, city workers will be repainting the crosswalks and the stop line at the monitored intersections.

* A sworn Officer will review every potential violation and decide whether it warrants a ticket. They use the criteria: "Would they issue the citation if they were sitting there at the red light?"

* Government-owned vehicles will be subject to the same laws and regulations as everyone else with red light cameras. Although, there are certain legal reasons people can run red lights, like police or firefighters going to an emergency, snow plows and motorists in funeral processions.

* Currently, a grace period is in effect for the red light cameras. Starting March 14, anyone caught will receive a ticket. It will take a week or two after the violation for them to arrive in the mail.

Reader/viewer interest was overwhelming. We had 431 people who viewed the hourlong chat while it was live. Capt. O'Konek answered 51 of the 284 questions or comments that were submitted.

If you didn't get your question answered, don't worry. O'Konek has agreed to do another live chat at the end of March or early in April. Stay tuned!

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